We want to be told how good we’ve got it.

Whether that be for mates (“Aww, Pete sent you flowers again! Such a catch”), pets (“Jill’s dog still wees in her underwear drawer,”) or, most especially, outlet stores (“Look for the red dot and take 20 percent off …”)

That’s why Bag Lady and Shopping Siren walked around the New Balance Factory Store in Oxford for the very first time last week, eyeing sneaker after sneaker, slightly out of sorts.

Please, New Balance, throttle us with your savings.

The store sits right on Route 26, large, airy and well-lit, like an outlet plucked off the strip in Kittery. This one, though, has a field on one side and a mobile home for sale on the other.

It offers lots and lots of sneakers, some clothes and some accessories. What it didn’t have were signs that hinted at the savings over regular retail. Is $100 for a pair of sneakers a good deal? Well, sure, if they used to be $150, but how’s a shopper to know?

New Balance does get two tips of the hat for being local (love that) and for offering daily discounts to seniors (10 percent off, age 60 and older) and police, fire and military members (20 percent off).

At least a 62-year-old Army vet will know he’s getting a good deal on Sesame Street sneakers.

• Sprint singlet, $4.99
Bright primary colors, polyester, exaggerated armholes, deep scoop neck — we might buy them and jog through the woods just to pretend we’re part of the pack. But, we’d buy two each; they’re very sheer.

• 749 country hikers, women’s, $59.99
Rugged and green. Online at the New Balance Web site, it looks like these are regularly $84.99. Voilà! $25 savings. Now that wasn’t so hard.

• Quilted bomber jacket, $29.99
Pea green, stylish and snug; no running required.

• 903 lightweight men’s running sneakers, $44.99
Bag Lady swoons at a man who can rock yellow sneaks. Something very jock-confident about that. These have gray accents and just look speedy.
Pair with:

• Prime tee, $24.99
Matching yellow and gray T-shirt. Still swoon-worthy, but don’t get any ideas. Pair tee and those sneakers with gray and yellow pants and it’s over.

• Kids’ Sesame Street sneakers, sizes 3½ to 6½ only, $19.99
Choose a black shoe with red laces and a smiling blue Grover on the side or a white shoe with blue laces and a waving Ernie on the side. Adorable. Fun. Sesame Street! Sure to be a hit with the preschool set. For their teachers who have to tie and re-tie those cheery red and blue laces all day? Not so much.

• Toddler running and training sneakers, $19.99 to $24.99
Running? We doubt it. Training? Only not to fall.

Best find: Women’s windbreaker, maroon or black, medium and large (in black only), $20
Reflective and lightweight, this jacket’s perfect to toss on while jogging at dusk or twilight. Or would have been in September. In October it’s perfect for tossing in the closet until the warmer weather reappears

Think twice: 993 women’s motion control running sneakers, $109.99
Here’s where we would like to know the savings. Sure, the subtle gray and white sneakers look nice, but $110 of nice? And how much is motion control really worth? We might have been swayed if the sign had said “Regularly a whole lot more!” But, alas, it did not. So we’re left to believe that $110  — since there are $70 sneakers in neighboring displays — is too much. We are possibly wrong. But we’ll be wrong with an extra $40 in our wallets.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who don’t need expensive sneakers to run full speed after the mailman) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] or [email protected]


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